The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Assault \As*sault"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. Assaulted; p. pr. &
vb. n. Assaulting.] [From Assault, n.: cf. OF. assaulter,
1. To make an assault upon, as by a sudden rush of armed men;
to attack with unlawful or insulting physical violence or
Insnared, assaulted, overcome, led bound. --Milton.
2. To attack with moral means, or with a view of producing
moral effects; to attack by words, arguments, or
unfriendly measures; to assail; as, to assault a
reputation or an administration.
Before the gates, the cries of babes newborn, . . .
Assault his ears. --Dryden.
Note: In the latter sense, assail is more common.
Syn: To attack; assail; invade; encounter; storm; charge. See